Statement on today’s planning decision on the fate of the green space and children’s play area at Holborn

South Tyneside Green Party

22nd November 2020

Save the Green Space/Play Park at Holborn Riverside Campaign Group

We’re sure that many members of the public will join us in expressing bitter disappointment at the outcome of today’s planning meeting.

The Labour members of the planning committee voted unanimously in favour of the redevelopment of the Holborn Riverside site. A decision which will see the destruction of the well-used and precious green space and children’s play area there.

While South Tyneside Green Party appreciates the need for low cost, good quality housing in the borough and welcomes the decision to consider brown field sites rather than precious Green Belt, we are absolutely opposed to the loss of the green space and children’s play area here, which is both an unnecessary and unwanted step too far.

Elaine Hasan and Leyla Al-Sayadi (organisers and residents) spoke extremely passionately today about the area they live in and love. They defended the rights of local people and their children to continue to use the only green spaces available to people in the Holborn area and implored those present to consider the impact of the potential loss on the climate emergency.

Green Party councillor David Francis warned the council 2 years ago that the continued absence of a finalised, approved and fit for purpose ‘Local Plan’ document put our green spaces at risk and sadly it seems this concern was well founded. South Tyneside Council is clearly not as serious as it claims to be about the commitments it made when declaring a climate emergency in 2019 and when signing up to the ‘UK100 Pledge’. They must now back up their pledges with actions which will protect people, nature and the planet rather than pandering to the needs of private developers for profit.

In light of this terrible decision, South Tyneside Green Party calls for an urgent review of current planning policy to understand why a development that destroys much needed and much valued Green space was recommended for approval.

South Tyneside Green Party also calls on the Developer, Keepmoat, to reconsider proceeding with the scheme as currently designed and to properly engage with the local community to find a better way forward.

Finally, South Tyneside Green Party pledges ongoing support to the residents’ group in their endeavours and we will continue to work to amplify the voices of those fighting to protect precious open spaces within our communities.

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